P1010900

“Surge” ©Ruth Armitage, Oil on Canvas 36″x48″

I’ve been working on this painting since December, mostly using my memory of the Oregon Coast as inspiration. Painting a realistic subject from memory is fraught with problems of perspective, lighting and more, but it does allow for wonderful color moments and mood. Those were my goals in starting this piece. It became more realistic than I intended at the outset, but I think it is finally finished. My family is certainly tired of giving me their input 🙂 I enjoyed working with color on a larger scale, and the oil paints were wonderful for that. The final painting bears no resemblance at all to the initial layers.

This painting is destined to hang at our beach house in Newport, and will replace some terrible, mass-produced, trite “artwork” that was offending me every time I walked into the room. I have decided to hang it without a frame, in a more contemporary presentation.

For the past year or more, I’ve been working between realism and abstraction, waffling back and forth, trying to find my way. The landscape has become more and more important to me as I consider place and its impact on my life, my family’s life and our personal history. It is a subject that I am grappling with internally, and feedback from friends and professional mentors has not helped to clarify my confusion. I do know that true realism is not my goal, and hasn’t been for quite some time.  My best work uses some elements of abstraction and is inspired from memory and personal experience.  Whether the subject is landscape, figure, a combination of the two, or abstraction of them, I continue to explore.

I hope that my collectors and supporters can follow along on this journey. But regardless of who is with me, wherever it leads, I must go. I can’t remain in one place. Be prepared for future posts to show you what I mean.

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